The Best Digital Banks for Investing

Comparing opportunities for investing in top mobile banks

Updated: Nov 24th, '22


Investments - a typically quite intimidating word for many - has attracted growing interests among casual retail customers in the last couple of years as it became significantly more accessible and transparent. The trend has led to the emergence of many new digital investment apps as well as digital banks to follow suit. It is now easier than ever for anyone to own a share of Apple or Tesla, which used to come off as such a complicated process with a variety of hidden fees. In this guide we identify the most important factors to look out for when choosing the provider to start your investments, and provide our recommendations afterwards. Most importantly, you need to always be aware of the fact that your capital is at risk, no matter how "safe" or "fool-proof" your investment plan is.

Additionally, please consider sustainable banking practices and ethical investments to be a massive factor - in our article on sustainability and ethics in investments and banking we briefly described the issue and suggested ways you can have an impact while multiplying your wealth.

image with the word investment

What matters the most in an investment product?

Leaving all the savings in a bank account would eventually seem like a waste given the barely positive returns and the enormous opportunity costs presented by the world of investments. Any investment is risky so take your time to make sure the following fundamental elements are in order before you jump in:

  1. Legitimacy: just like anything else that’s booming, scammers are also working hard to catch this trend. Make sure to always double-check if the investment provider is legit - see whether they are licensed to issue investment products and read reviews from well-known comparison sites such as Trustpilot. Always do your fair share of research before taking any further steps!
  2. Orders: how do orders work on your platform of choice? Many retail investors can find this concept confusing when just starting out. Stock markets have specific opening hours on weekdays and are closed for weekends and holidays. This also means that most providers should be capable of executing your order instantly during the opening hours - note that instant orders are not necessarily free. If you put in an order when the markets are closed, it’ll usually be executed the following day when the markets open, and you risk getting a worse deal since the share price could move drastically when the markets do open. Digital banks and challenger investment apps are generally doing a better job at making this transparent before your submit your orders.
  3. Fees: hidden fees are a significant factor that puts people off from jumping into investments themselves. You could get charged a fee for putting in an order, keeping deposits at the provider, or simply withdrawing your deposits. Digital banks and new investment apps are well aware of this pain point and have all adopted various ways to consolidate different fees and making them more prominent in the app before your press Confirm.
image with a phone screen showing an investment app

Our Verdict: The best on the market

Below are three up-and-coming financial services providers we recommend if you’re looking for an option to dip your toes in investments in Europe. Visit our review pages to dig deeper into each individual solution we recommend by clicking the links next to the bank that intrigues you or check out our bank account comparison overview to get a complete overview and select the best option yourself.

Vivid

  • Cashback rewards
  • Metal crypto card
  • Multiple sub-accounts
  • Shared accounts
  • Automatic savings

Vivid is an up-and-coming financial "one-stop-shop" app: payments and transfers, an interest on your current account, 3000+ ETFs & stocks from companies all over the world along with 50+ cryptocurrencies on top of and an ability to store funds in over 40 currencies.

  • HQ: Berlin, Germany
  • Users: > 145'000
  • Founded in: 2019
  • Stocks & ETFs: ✔️
  • Cryptocurrencies: ✔️
  • Metals: ✔️
  • Card available: ✔️

Vivid's innovative app seamlessly blends its investment features with everyday banking. You can create a "Pocket" for investments in stocks or crypto alongside with other assets. Pockets which are essentially bank accounts with unique IBANs. Buying shares or ETFs is at the moment fee-free with Vivid even for its standard free plan, aside from a 0.5% mark-up on currency exchanges. Vivid also has a Stock Rewards feature where you can get Cashback from card payments in the form of fractional stock of your choice - which is in our opinion a pretty smart feature and can really grow your assets without much effort. All in all, Vivid is a fairly new Germany-based player but it already offers a good product for any consumers interested to dip in some stocks or cryptocurrencies. With its practically fee-free offering - which could change as its customer base grows - it is a good time to give this app a try.

Revolut offers a solid stock trading feature for customers in Europe - it is accessible no matter which plans you choose. You can buy a wide selection of US shares, at the moment ETFs are not yet available. Revolut offers 3 types of orders: Market (at the best available price), Limit (buy only when price is at or lower than set limit) and Stop (buy when stop price is reached) - giving you flexibility and control over risk around price fluctuations. Only Metal customers can enjoy unlimited commission-free trades, it costs €1/£1 per trade for customers on other plans out of the free quota. In addition, Revolut charges a 0.12% (per annum) custody fee over the market value of your collective assets. Overall, we think Revolut’s trading feature is quite mature for the retail investor audience - easy navigation with clear pricing. Analyst recommendations, basic company info and news are also available directly from the Revolut app.

Bitpanda

  • Desktop app
  • Auto-savings
  • Crypto card
  • Referral program
  • Crypto Indices

Trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and precious metals - all in one place, starting as low as €1. Use a Visa card to pay with crypto everywhere.

  • HQ: Vienna, Austria
  • Users: >3'000'000
  • Founded in: 2014
  • Stocks & ETFs: ✔️
  • Cryptocurrencies: ✔️
  • Metals: ✔️
  • Card available: ✔️

The last online bank recommendation we have for investment is Openbank (part of the Santander banking group). The traditional-turned digital bank has a solid investment offering called Openbank Wealth. Your first option is Openbank’s Rabo-advisor - essentially automated investment services. After filling in a questionnaire regarding your financial situation, risk appetite and recurring contribution, you can simply sit back and your investments grow automatically. Of course your capital is still at risk, the benefit of Rabo-advisor is that there is less hassle in choosing what and when to invest. You do need to start with at least €500 deposits with the automated investment services. You can choose to invest yourself in stocks and ETFs with a minimum order value of €10, with no transfer, subscription or custody fees. At this moment Openbank Wealth is not yet widely available across its markets, but it is definitely a good option to consider.


Wrapping up: A quick summary

We hope this guide was helpful - as more and more digital banks start to offer investment products, we will make sure to keep this guide up-to-date so that you can always enjoy accurate and relevant information. If you happen to have any questions, please let us know so that we can incorporate your feedback as soon as possible. Did we miss any good mobile banks that offer investments in Europe? Similarly, do not hesitate to reach out to us and let us know. That way, we at Fintech Compass can be more successful of achieving our main objective - providing people with easy to access and understand information. Lastly, do not forget to read our other materials, reviews of banks and investment platforms and comparisons - our biggest reward is your interest.

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